Budapest Calls us Back
What was it about Budapest that called us back? Certainly the People Friendliness contributed greatly - the easy mobility provided by the extensive transit system, pleasant walking along wide sidewalks shaded by trees, grand public spaces, the vistas along the wide blue Duna crossed by elegant bridges, the charming blend of architectures. Then there was the prospect of being with our good friend, Gabor for more adventures and mind expanding conversations.
So, after a bit of Internet searching, we found a flat right in the heart of the city and planned a two week stay.
Arriving in Budapest, we learned that the flat we had reserved was not available due to a problem with the electricity but Eric, our resourceful rental agent, had arranged an alternative one for us in a nice more convenient location. We settled in and began to explore our neighborhood.
But our situation was not to last. September 1, it turned out, marked the beginning of the return of students for the semester and Eric and his colleagues needed longer term renters to ensure their cash flow. So, when a group of students wished to rent 'our' flat we agreed to move to another, in a nicer location just behind the Szent Istvan Cathedral. Undaunted, we settled in again and resumed our explorations. Incredibly, Eric asked us to move still one more time to our final flat, in a lovely older neighborhood.
All this moving from place to place rather disrupted our ability to feel really at home in Budapest but it enabled us to experience three different living situations, to venture into the buildings, rather than observe only the facades and wonder what was inside. We came to realize that the transformation of Budapest's urban fabric that began twenty years ago when the Iron Curtain melted away is still a work in progress.
During our two week visit, we revisited many of the places we had seen a year ago and also discovered some places we had missed. We became more intimately acquainted with this city that, like the Hungarian people, has withstood so many defeats, revivals, changes, triumphs, disappointments and renewals. We invite you to read again the stories we wrote after our first visit and then check back again for new stories.
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